Dan Zarrella of HubSpot once asked people about email marketing, with one question being centered around what had proven effective in the past. I immediately thought of the “Oops” campaigns that I used to run.
The premise was simple: send an email on Day 1 (we’ll say Monday), then re-send the email to everyone that hadn’t opened the email or hadn’t clicked-through on Tuesday. But, now the subject line and first section of content was simply say “Oops… we made a mistake”.
The “mistake” was usually minor: some people reported a link not working correctly, our form submit button on the landing page was missing, etc. Essentially, a slip that I’m sure happens to everyone at some point or that could easily be attributed to “computer problems”. We didn’t kill any kittens here.
In reality, there never was a problem. But, changing the subject line to “Opps… we made a mistake!” and putting the call-to-action link in the explanation did something surprising… it drove open-rates and click-thru through the roof!
Granted, you can’t consistently use this tactic as it admits a mistake, and you don’t want to appear like you’re constantly screwing-up. In our case, we decided that once a quarter was the maximum times we would use it, and that frequency seemed to work.This method came about after a legitimate mistake, where we the landing page didn’t actually exist at the time of our initial send. When all the metrics spiked on the re-send, we thought we had something… and all the tests proved us right.